Authority

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When disagreement becomes disrespect..

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
– Romans 13:1-2
F—-k Trump
Last night while checking out the score of the Alabama-Georgia game I came across a video posted by Sports Illustrated of an Alabama player yelling F____ Trump as the team went through the tunnel to enter the playing field.
President Trump was in attendance for the game and of all the threatened protests by the NAACP and others this outburst gained the most attention.
The irony is not lost on me that a college football player, a recipient most likely of a full-ride scholarship, privileged to attend and play football for a nationally recognised university, and one the premier football programs in America, would choose to express himself in this way.
In the not-so-distant past a black football player would have had little chance of even attending the University of Alabama much less playing on its football team.
But how this young man chose to express himself is typical of many in our culture. We are privileged to live in a nation where self expression is a right we enjoy. Free from the threat of jail or censorship.
But as I read the comments that followed the posting of the video I thought of  Romans 13.
First let me say I voted for Donald Trump. You could categorize me as many do as the angry white conservative male, and assign that profile as the reason why I voted for him. The truth is we had poor choices in the past election. And Mr. Trump represented better what I considered important.
I have been less than impressed by his leadership, in disbelief sometimes at the childish tweets he sends out.
I was not a fan of Barack Obama either. For many reasons, most biblical rather than political. My idea of freedom, and democracy does not include globalism, or discarding Judeo- Christian values.
I felt about him I would imagine much the same way many feel about Donald Trump.
But in light of Romans 13 I think regardless of our political persuasion we need to tread carefully when it comes to disrespecting authority. Whether they are Democrat or Republican, or represent conservative or liberal views.
The early Christians found themselves in the position of being in a culture that demanded Caesar be worshipped as God.
They were stripped of their rights, chased out of town, and in some cases became tiki torches for Nero’s gardens.
Yet Paul himself on the way to prison and eventual death writes
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
And to further make his point he follows by saying
“Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
Paul is not saying that you need to like those who are in authority, or even agree with the way they rule.
But we are to be subject to them.
It is an attitude of being under authority that we in the United States of America are very unfamiliar with.
It does not mean we fail to speak out when injustice is done, it does not mean we do not take up the cause of those who are denied basic liberties by the government and its agents.
What it does mean is showing disrespect in our comments and actions, fanning the flames of anarchy, promoting lawlessness, if I read my Bible correctly puts us in the position of opposing God.
The cause of the Civil War and the mission of Martin Luther King Jr although a hundred years apart were the same. Freedom for people held in slavery.
The difference?
Tens of thousands of lives were lost in a war rooted in rebellion, millions were finally set free by pursuing what was right, by calling up on the government to make good on what it promised 200 years earlier.
Respecting authority but not agreeing with it.
There is great anger in our nation. Comments like the young man made yesterday and others on both sides of the political aisle only serves to increase that anger.
Paul gives great advice and Romans 12
” if it is possible as far as it depends on you live at peace with everyone”
And in Titus 3:1-2
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
Finally in In 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Make requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Amen
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About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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2 Responses to Authority

  1. HCliff,

    I enjoyed your post. You speak sensibly and respectfully about a major conflict within our moral and political culture. Your ideas, shaped by biblical teaching, form the mindset worthy of a Christian. Thank you very much for expressing your views. I think more people need to start studying and consulting their Bibles. The Word of God is certainly the key toward living.

    Betsy

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